WHAT did we expect from The Vaccines?

It has been eight years since the London band reinvented rock and many of us are still trying to get our head around their unique sound.

The five-piece are renowned for their Ramones-esque punk energy but are also known for infusing that with an undeniable pop sensibility.

Suffice to say frontman Justin Hayward-Young, who has written songs with One Direction, does not like getting pinned down to one genre.

And it is a formula that works as the band have sold more than a million records and all their albums have hit the top five in the UK charts, including the 2012 number one Come of Age.

Bassist Árni Árnason said: “I think Justin could write any kind of music but it doesn’t matter what genre it would be, it would still have a pop tinge to it.

“He’s a great pop songwriter and I don’t think he could stop writing pop songs even if he tried. That’s a natural thing that comes with it.

“In terms of the band’s frenetic energy, that’s because we like rock and roll music. Those bands are loud and fun and awesome.

“It’s funny because it doesn’t feel that long ago that people were talking about who we sounded like.

“Now we have reached the point where people are talking about bands that sound like the Vaccines so that’s kind of fun and humbling.

“When someone comes up to you and says: ‘My band was influenced by the Vaccines. you think am I really that old?’”

Árni, who grew up in Iceland, is feeling his age as he recently became a dad. He was caring for his eight-month-old son when Weekend spoke to him.

The 35-year-old added: “I don’t really know what I did with my spare time prior to having a kid. It’s crazy.

“My other half is a musician as well so she’s very understanding. She takes the time she needs to tour and stuff and he’s been on 17 flights and is only eight months old so we just make it work.”

The Vaccines are the main support for Richard Ashcroft on the Sunday line-up of Neighbourhood Weekender.

Winsford Guardian:

Árni said: “It’s going to be awesome. I’ve never actually seen him live and can’t think of a better place to do that than up north near where he grew up.

“In the past year we’ve just been touring a lot so it’ll be great to go back to the UK festivals where we’re warmly welcomed and it’s a change of pace.

“It’s a crazy line-up. They’ve got a lot of great artists considering it’s quite a new festival.”

If there is one band that is used to crazy line-ups it is The Vaccines as they have supported some of the biggest bands in the world like The Rolling Stones, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse.

But Árni told Weekend one of the best bands to share a stage with – or many stages in this case – was Mumford and Sons.

He added: “We supported them over the course of a few years all over the world, particularly in America.

“They did this tour called Gentlemen of the Road. It was like this festival that they set up in strange towns off the beaten track in the southern states of the US.

“And it was incredible going to places that felt so far removed from your average touring circle with one of the biggest bands in the world.

“It was pretty magical doing those tours but that’s really the only extensive touring we have done as a support band.

“We’ve done a bunch of other stuff but it’s always been short term or one-offs. You often don’t share any moments with the band you’re supporting but you get to be around their organisation and you get to see the way they treat their gigs.

“It’s incredibly inspiring. I’ve never gone from supporting somebody to not liking them afterwards.

“It just doesn’t happen because nobody is in a big band without working incredibly hard to deserve that. That becomes very apparent when you start working with these people.”

The Neighbourhood show will also see the NME Award winners back on top form after their third genre-spanning album, English Graffiti, caused a rift in the band.

It was at a time when the group were questioning themselves and their music, even though the record reached number two in the charts and received warm reviews.

Last year’s follow-up Combat Sports was a reaction to that where guitar riffs and rock attitude took centre stage.

But Árni has had time to reflect.

He said: “I think we gave English Graffiti a rough ride.

“Reflecting on it now I think it’s my favourite Vaccines record in terms of sound, experiment and direction. In my mind it achieved everything we set out to do. It just so happened that not everyone was on the same page as us.

“And while Combat Sports was certainly a reaction to English Graffiti in the sense it was a straight up rock and roll record, I don’t think that negates the importance of that record in terms of the band’s development.”